If you are loyal to AA you are probably aware that you cannot search for most partner availability using your AAdvantage miles on the aa.com website. While American is starting to add more OneWorld partners to their search engine, currently the capability is not quite there and requires a call to an AA representative. Additionally, AA representatives are 100% aware of all availability.

Fortunately, Qantas.com (a OneWorld partner) has a great award search tool and includes all OneWorld award redemptions. So let’s say you are looking to redeem American Airlines from Boston to Barcelona (true story as I had to do it for my parents this past week). The partner routes include American, British Airways, or Iberia Airlines. Although you will not be flying Qantas, their online award availability search can tell you all the routes and dates available.

To search for availability, however, you must register for a Qantas account. Membership is free (unless you are a resident of Australia or New Zealand) and takes just a few minutes to join (join here).

Once you join, you can access the award search tool here (remember: you must be logged on).

Select your departure and arrival cities, along with the dates and number of passengers. Also, if you are flexible with dates, ensure to select the corresponding checkbox.

A calendar view will appear letting you know the dates available for each fare type. You can select Economy, Business, or First depending on your desired fare type.

Once you select the departure and arrival date, the available flights will appear on the next page.

Knowing the available dates prior to calling American will help you when booking your ticket. While representatives are relatively good, they many times only look at the most well known routes. So for example, from Boston to Barcelona they look at American (via JFK) and British Airways (via London), and many times fail to consider Iberia via Madrid.

When I called AA to change my parents reservation, I checked out Qantas.com and saw that seats opened up on their desired date. While I knew of this availability, I wanted to see what the representative would come up with first, just for fun I guess! My conversation went something like the following:

Mrs. Deals: Hi, I would like to change the return flight of this record locator for this date (and told them the desired date)

AA representative: Unfortunately, we have no availability for that date, but the following day has some availability, would that work?

Mrs. Deals: Oh really, what about the Barcelona to Madrid then Madrid to Boston flight on Iberia Airlines?

AA representative: Oh, ummm…. actually, there is availability on that flight on your desired date.

Had I not done my homework ahead of time, I would have never known the true availability and would not have secured the desired flights. This is a great tool to piece together your desired itinerary and check for availability. Unfortunately, you are still not able to book the reservation yourself and have to have an AA representative actually confirm the booking. While you might need to spoon feed the representative the flights you want, including flight number, airline, and flight time, it is well worth it.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • Cowboy said,

    Same thing for booking trips to asia- I had to prompt the agent about Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific, and their connecting cities to get my reservations done.

  • dealswelike said,

    @Cowboy – that’s right! To Asia they typically only look at Cathay and forget about Japan Airways.

  • Jim said,

    Is this for the “Saver” or Anytime fare?

  • Jeff said,

    @dealswelike
    A trick which use AA miles to check CX’s flight is to first sign up CX’s Asiamiles (not Macro Polo). It’s free. Then log in your Asiamiles’ account and check for available flights. If you see “book now, only X seats…..” that means you cannot book by AA. Other than that you can just call AA and book CX’s flight. But YMMV.

  • AussieTraveller said,

    Those in Australia can get free Qantas FF membership by signing up via Woolworths Everyday Rewards and save the$82.50

  • Arnold Semmons said,

    I like the Qantas page, and you can also check for award availability on the British Airways page if you have a frequent flyer account with them. In fact, I wanted a Lima Peru to Los Angeles flight for free, and the British site showed the seat available where the Qantas didn’t. Always good to check them all, just in case. With British, it will show you their own flights first, then you have to click “include partners” and it will show availability with the other carriers. Note: British wanted 50,000 miles for the LIM-LAX flight in business class, but American only charges 30,000 so I immediately got on the phone with American and booked that ticket.

  • Scottrick said,

    It’s unfortunate that even the agents need to be spoonfed, but I didn’t know about the Qantas booking site. Thanks for the information!

  • m said,

    You might want to show the next screen that actually shows the travel class. On a few trips I see business class a available only to find that only one flight (the shortest) is in business, the rest are in E.

  • Jason said,

    Thanks this works great.. Except I cant see Etihad flights..

  • gpapadop said,

    So…is the Quantas website superior to the BA site?

  • dealswelike said,

    @Scottrick – I agree!

  • dealswelike said,

    @gpadadop – I personally like the Qantas site for award availability.

  • gpapadop said,

    Thanks, I added the “Get Quantas account” on my to do list:-)

  • dealswelike said,

    @gpapadop – Great!

  • ozzy said,

    I searched for Chicago to Lahore. Lahore didn’t come up as a city, nor did any other Pakistani cities. I know I can fly Chicago to Abu Dhabi (Etihad) and Abu Dhabi to Lahore (also Etihad). And Etihad is indeed a partner now. Hmm…

  • dealswelike said,

    @Ozzy – The Qantas tool will only include OneWorld partner. Although you can redeem your AA miles on Etihad it is not a OneWorld Partner.

  • Jain said,

    Can I use avios points? I want to book a trip to India. Thanks

  • dealswelike said,

    Yes, however, you will need to book through British Airways not American.

  • Jack said,

    I am trying to book an Iberia flight JFK-MAD-BCN where availability shows up on Qantas site. However, AA agents claim there is no availability on their system. Is it possible that there is different allotment from Iberia to AA vs Iberia to Qantas? Or is there just something wrong with the agent’s system?

  • dealswelike said,

    @Jack – What cabin class is this for? There have been a few instances when it is not a 100% match up, but I’ve actually been looking for that same route and its always been on target. I’d call back and speak to another agent to double check. Make sure to give them the exact flight number.

  • Jack said,

    It’s J. I checked with AA reps as well as BA.com – both show no availability. I had read that Qantas sometimes shows Oneworld availability that doesn’t actually exist. Just surprised because I’ve never encountered this issue before. Have you heard of this?

  • Helen said,

    Yes, I just had the same problem! I saw 4 business class Madrid-Chicago Iberia tickets available on the Qantas website. But when I called AA, they said that flight wasn’t available, even after I “spoonfed” the flight number to them. AA claims that the flights were allotted to Qantas frequent flyers only.

  • Anthony said,

    I have tried to search for award availablility using the Qantas web site – Award Bookings, I’ve had success in the past but not now. The Qantas and partner classic award option does not display. There is an option for classic award but it only shows cities serviced by Qantas. I’d like to go roundtrip from LAX to FCO Do you have an update to seach Qantas partners?
    Thanks!

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